Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Palau Proposes a Ban on Commercial Fishing

In January 2013, former President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. (2001-2008) once again took office as President of the Republic of Palau, and true to form immediately set Palau on a leadership path in protection of the marine environment by proposing a ban on commercial fishing in Palau's EEZ.

During his previous two consecutive terms from 2001 to 2008, President Remengesau led Palau to international acclaim with a staunch multi-pronged program of terrestrial and marine environment protection that included passage of ground-breaking shark protection legislation in 2003 that ultimately led to Palau becoming the world's first shark sanctuary in 2009. He also launched the Micronesia Challenge a regional environmental trust and helped create Palau's Protected Areas Network intended to preserve Palau's environment for generations to come.

In 2002 in protest against the destructive and wasteful practice of shark-finning in Palau's waters, President Remengesau  set fire to a catch of shark fins found on board a foreign fishing vessel arrested for illegal fishing in Palau's waters. The Presidents actions ignited a local and international outcry against the killing of sharks that led to the 2003 passage of landmark legislation protecting sharks in Palau's waters and culminated in the 2009 declaration by Palau as the worlds first shark sanctuary.

In 2004 President Remengesau was recognized by Sharkproject as their very first Shark Guardian of the Year, with an award presented to Palau during BOOT SHOW 2004.

The Presidents declaration to seek a ban on commercial fishing in Palau's EEZ was announced on March 12, 2013, in a speech made to the Prince of Monaco during an official visit to Palau. Despite the Presidents best intentions it will take an Act of Congress to pass the legislation necessary to give life to his vision and he will need all the support he can get. Ending commercial fishing in Palau's waters is an important step in the protection of our dwindling pelagic shark populations.

I call on those of you who care for the health of the oceans and for the protection of sharks to therefore show support to President Remengesau and to Legislators in Palau for a ban on commercial fishing in Palau's EEZ.

Please pass the word and copy me on any posts, links, and or send comments to me at:    info@sharksanctuary.com

I'll get them delivered to President Remengesau and the Legislators.